The End of the Beginning–Ecclesiastes 11 Part 2

Solomon was closing out hos search for meaning by the recognition that life simply looks a lot different when you are young.  It is wise to know that optimism and energy are gifts for the young.  When you come across a young person that is cynical and lethargic–it is alarming and off-putting.  Conversely, when us old goats of the world still see the wonder and excitement of life–well, we are minimalized and told we are cute.
 
Life is hard, unfair, rugged and cruel.  There are events that happen and people that pass through that literally suck any positivity out of our existence.  In those times, we have to trust God to replace that which is stolen by our enemy.  Young or old, we look to God for our joy, and, as we follow him, we allow the Holy Spirit to replace the joy life talks away.  Facing life daily is hard.  The longer we endure, the more difficult it becomes.  The great news is that if we capitalize on optimism when we are young, and, we trust God for joy when we are old–well, then we complete the race and keep the faith only to see that we have only come to the end–of the beginning!
 
God Bless You
Light is sweet,
    and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.
However many years anyone may live,
    let them enjoy them all.
But let them remember the days of darkness,
    for there will be many.
    Everything to come is meaningless.

You who are young, be happy while you are young,
    and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart
    and whatever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
    God will bring you into judgment.
10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart
    and cast off the troubles of your body,
    for youth and vigor are meaningless.

Working For It–Ecclesiastes 11 Part 1

So many have failed by simply waiting too long, expecting conditions to become just right before they proceed.  The old saying goes, “The harder he works, the luckier he gets!” Pure humble effort and work often is God’s means of training us and blessing us. We as people have been raised in an era of entitled living.  We simply expect life to proceed in a certain way.  We have watched too many movies that portray a fairy tale–of the princess simply stumbling into happy-ever-after.
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The truth is that we must work hard, innovate, take chances and trust God with our lives.  His plan is awesome, and his desire is to prepare us for the most amazing journey, imaginable.  It is important to remember, however, he expects us to move forward and follow him.  He never says to sit idle and allow him to just drop blessings from the sky.  Israel marched through the desert for 40 years through all kinds of circumstances–that journey prepared them for their eventual reclamation of their home.
 
Similarly, God calls us to follow him–to move forward, work hard and allow him to affect the change in our lives.  We can never grow complacent and quit; neither does he ask us to rush out ahead and do his part.  Simply put–we need to be industrious, humble and grateful.  As we journey in that manner, we will see his hand working in preparation for a full and meaningful life here and an eternal life at his side–enjoying the relationship with God that we were created to embrace.
 
God Bless You
Ship your grain across the sea;
    after many days you may receive a return.
Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight;
    you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.

If clouds are full of water,
    they pour rain on the earth.
Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
    in the place where it falls, there it will lie.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
    whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know the path of the wind,
    or how the body is formed[a] in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
    the Maker of all things.

Sow your seed in the morning,
    and at evening let your hands not be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
    whether this or that,
    or whether both will do equally well.